UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH innovation INSTITUTE
  VOL. 22 2021   Impact   MARCH  
 
From the Director


Time and again Pittsburgh’s foundations step up to support organizations across a broad spectrum of focus areas, from arts and culture, education, and social services, to the environment, social justice and economic development. They help make life here better in so many ways.

As the term "foundation” implies, these organizations that were endowed by the fortunes created when Pittsburgh was the heart of the industrial revolution, have provided bedrock funding for initiatives spurring our region’s transition from the industrial age to the information age. They have given Pittsburgh a unique advantage when compared to other so-called Rust Belt cities, who have had a more difficult time making this transition.

Most recently, the Hillman Foundation committed $25 million through a multi-year grant to support Pitt’s efforts in vision restoration research and therapy. (Read more below.) As you probably know, UPMC is investing in the construction of a specialty hospital dedicated to vision next to Mercy Hospital that is slated to open next year.

The new hospital will support the work of Dr. José-Alain Sahel, the chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Over the past decade Dr. Sahel has led pioneering efforts in optogenetic vision restoration, a technique in which cells in the retina are genetically modified to express light sensitive proteins. This therapeutic technique has the potential to help patients who are blind or visually impaired as a result of a genetic defect. Dr. Sahel is a co-inventor on more than 40 patents, several of which have led to start-up companies. We look forward to the creation of many more new companies from his work and are ready to support his efforts.

The Hillman gift is also providing support to LifeX Labs, the life science accelerator launched with the support of the University three years ago, to address a significant gap in the effort to build a thriving life sciences startup ecosystem in the region. LifeX was fortunate last year to also receive the support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation as it opened its life science accelerator wet lab space in Lawrenceville.


The benefits of the expanded range of service now available through LifeX is brought to life in this month’s featured Pitt startup, Duo Oncology. The company is taking on the most therapy-resistant cancers with a novel nanoparticle delivery mechanism. It participated in LifeX’s accelerator program and is now in the LifeX incubator, where it is completing its preclinical work as it progresses towards an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the FDA.

Too often in the past, a company like Duo Oncology would find it easier to simply begin life in a region with a more established life science ecosystem, like Boston, San Francisco or Philadelphia. No more.


Our foundation community, together with our universities and health systems, are determined to accelerate the growth of the region’s life sciences sector, and we are grateful for their unyielding support.

 
 
Contents:
 
News
Featured Startup
Upcoming Events
Pitt Innovators in the News
Funding and Education Opportunities

Featured Technology Collection

 

 
 
News
 
Hillman Foundation Grant to Support Vision Care and Research and Boost Regional Life Sciences Sector

The Foundation's $25 million grant includes support for LifeX Labs, the region's premiere life sciences accelerator and incubator.

Read More >
 
Featured Startup
DuoOncFounders1
 
 
Duo Oncology Taking on Drug-Resistant Cancers With Nanoparticle Polymers
 
 
 
Read More
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
  MARC‌H 2‌3

Startup Licensing 101: Licensing Process and Pre-Agreements

In part two of a five-part series, panelists will cover:

The University technology circle of life:

– Startup due diligence and evaluation
– Universitys diligence
– Pre-license and other agreements, including CDAs, Options, Material Transfer Agreements, Inter-institutional Agreements, Sponsored Research Agreements

When:
12 p.m.
LEARN MORE
 
  MARC‌H 25
Start Smart Law: Hiring and Firing
Learn the ins and outs of staffing a company, including: hiring of employees and/or retaining independent contractors, interns and volunteers.

When:

5 p.m.
LEARN MORE
 
  MARC‌H 2‌5

AWS ML and AI Tools in a Healthcare Data Platform

The Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance is presenting a webinar with Amazon Web Services on how AI and machine learning tools can be deployed using AWS’ cloud technology to improve value-based, data-driven healthcare decision making

When:

12 p.m.

LEARN MORE
 
 
Pitt Innovators in the News
 
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Forest Devices Reports Positive Results for its Stroke Detection Device
Business Wire
The EDGAR study is the first study in which a portable technology, developed by Pitt School of Medicine Alumnus Matt Kesinger, has been shown to outperform clinical exams currently applied by EMTs worldwide to identify Large Vessel Occlusive (LVO) strokes.
Read More >
 
 
Pitt Researchers Helping Study Bone Health in Space

Pitt Researchers Helping Study Bone Health in Space

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
The University of Pittsburgh is teaming up with medical device company RevBio, Inc. to study the effects of an adhesive biomaterial on bone health in space.
Read More >
 
Funding and Education Opportunities
Orange Grove Bio Offers Remote Internship For Pitt Students and Postdocs
orange grove bio internship 2
 
Read More
 
Applications Open for Big Idea Advantage Fund
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The Big Idea Advantage Fund will provide investments between $10,000 and $25,000 to Pitt students of any level, freshman to postdoc, from any part of the University who have a big idea that is ready to be launched as a new venture.
Read More
 

First Gear Commercialization Program
Accepting Applications

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The Pitt Ventures First Gear program helps shape Pitt inventions originating from University research from early-stage discoveries into products and services that can be taken to market. Through a series of six workshops, the program offers hands-on guidance and mentorship that takes an inventor through the necessary steps in creating a go-to-market plan that can result in the creation of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the technology.
Read More
 
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  Featured Technology Collection
 
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Pitt researchers are constantly innovating and improving upon existing sensing technologies, developing new ways to detect touch,  tension, light, and substances that are crucial to both every-day and high-tech applications with higher sensitivities at a lower cost. Flexible touchscreens, automated internal thermometers for high-risk patients, and tactile feedback for robotic surgeons are just a few of the exciting new developments. Check out these technologies available for licensing.

Recent Patents
Featured Innovations
 
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University of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship   1st Floor Gardner Steel Conference Center (GSCC)  130 Thackeray Avenue  Pittsburgh,  PA   15260   USA

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